What to choose? Personal Training or Yoga

Updated: Jun 28

We know why we go for personal training. It is for fitness – strength, muscle tone, cardio-vascular health or weight loss.


Can we say the same about yoga? Isn’t it another way to work on your body? Don’t you do yoga for fitness? Yes, if it is hatha yoga – the yoga of physical poses (asanas), the yoga you find in classes at fitness studios.


Most yoga classes offered in the United States don’t consider the other branches of yoga that are more spiritual in nature. On the surface, it looks like there are similarities.


Look at this of example of common personal training exercise and hatha yoga asanas. The dynamic slider lunge exercise and the crescent lunge or high lunge in yoga (right).





They look alike. They appear to have similar benefits of strength, flexibility,

and balan

ce. For each you want the correct alignment to get the maximum benefit.


Of course, many exercises and poses are radically different. You don’t do curls in yoga and you don’t do triangle pose (trikonasana) in personal training. Moreover, some typical components of a session are different – cardiovascular conditioning in personal training and pranayama (breathing) in yoga.


But the critical difference between personal training and yoga is about using weighted machines or dumbbells for strength, weight loss or other related fitness goals. And the training style can be quite different.

Personal training is individualized personal attention typically in a fitness facility. It is one-on-one guidance with individual motivation and encouragement. It’s a customized workout plan based on your fitness goals primarily focused on increasing muscle mass, strength and cardiovascular endurance. It is you and your trainer, client and consultant.


Yoga is typically a group activity in a studio focused on flexibility and balance. It is you and others with a teacher. You can’t get much individual attention. You do the asanas along with the others, listening and watching. You are on your own. No talking, just doing.


Personal training and yoga complement each other. Both are fitness for the body, although with different emphases: yoga more for flexibility and balance, personal training more for strength and muscle mass.




Go for Personal Training and Yoga for your general health and well-being.


Or if time is an issue, choose one that is based on your current fitness needs but most importantly it is fun and rewarding.


Here at Bench Gym Personal Training, a personal trainer can customize your fitness training program depending on your goals, not only strength but flexibility and balance as well. Make fitness a lifestyle so you can live a healthy and productive life.


By: Jon Ponce- Personal Trainer/Owner, Bench Gym Personal Training, Washington DC

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